"CDSN has suddenly changed the spirit of negotiations by these cancellations, and in turn, have unfortunately penalized the racing fans of the region by their actions," the Southern Racing Cooperative statement concluded.
In apparent reaction to an impasse in negotiations between the Southern Racing Cooperative and Churchill Downs Simulcast Network over the Hollywood Park signal, CDSN has ceased sending any of its simulcasting signals to the racing cooperative's member tracks.A statement from the Southern Racing Cooperative issued Thursday afternoon revealed CDSN's action."We view this as retaliation for the current contract dispute involving Hollywood Park," the statement read. "[We] believe CDSN is attempting to force member tracks of the Southern Racing Cooperative to accept a revision to the current multi-year agreement."Southern Racing Cooperative member tracks have always been willing to operate under the provisions of the current agreement, which extends through 2004, but cannot accept a unilaterally forced change to the rates defined in that agreement."CDSN president Karl Schmitt declined comment after the release was issued. Bobby Geiger, spokesperson for the racing cooperative, was not immediately available. Among the member tracks of the Southern Racing Cooperative are Oaklawn Park, Fair Grounds, Prairie Meadows, Sam Houston, Retama Park, Delta Downs, Sunland Park, Sun Ray Park, and Beulah Park.On Wednesday, both Schmitt and Geiger indicated an agreement on the Hollywood Park signal would be forthcoming. However, the latest maneuver by CDSN appears to have at least temporarily thwarted a deal.